A Ranch-style Bed and Breakfast
With a Texas-sized Bed big enough for Four
By Madelyn Miller
I am a city girl. I like my creature comforts such as
thick towels, chocolates, and fluffy pillows. So when I agreed to stay at
an Austin retreat in the middle of nowhere (anywhere more than ten minutes
from downtown is nowhere to me) I expected to be roughing it.
Instead, it was the some of the most luxurious nights
of my whole life.
Not only did I enjoy a huge house, beautifully
decorated with a Texas theme, but there were all kinds of extra amenities
usually only found in five star hotels.
I felt like some rich relative I had never met had died
and left me his own personal getaway place for four glorious days.
You don’t need a rich relative to stay at Bear Creek
Retreat. In fact, it is large enough that if you shared it with friends, it
would cost no more than an ordinary hotel room. But you would have an
I drove down from Dallas, and asked my screenwriter
friend Greg to join me. We walked in and he was blown away by the luxury.
“How in the world did you arrange this,” he asked. The truth is, I heard
about owner Caroline Foley’s new place from an old friend, Kathy Truesdell.
Kathy was definitely elevated on the smart friends list for finding this
Here is what she told me about it that convinced me to
try it. “I think you would like a new retreat/B&B called Bear Creek
Retreat. It's 3 bedroom house on 130 acres with wonderful facilities and
the biggest bed I have ever seen. Caroline Foley, the owner, had it custom
made. It's the size of two queen beds but it's one solid mattress with big
pillows and custom sheets and comforter. Truly a family bed
(or whatever...). Caroline's number is 512-940-9444
It's wonderfully relaxing. Caroline is a great cook,
there is a pool, she has a massage room that she can book with local massage
therapists and there is a Large Flat Screen plasma Television in the common
room for things like Sports (guys) or Event Parties.”
Greg and I enjoyed the hot tub the first night,
admiring the stars and congratulating ourselves for being lucky enough to
stay at such a cool place. We wrapped ourselves in the thick terry robes
thoughtfully provided and monogrammed with Bear Creek Retreat. Then we went
inside and he nibbled on multi-colored French licorice (in the crystal bowls
scattered around graciously) while I enjoyed chocolates as we watched UNDER
THE TUSCAN SUN on the plasma TV. We hated to go to bed. But since I had
dibs on the big bed, I made an earlier exit to snuggle in.
Greg woke up early and was sitting outside listening to
the birds when Caroline brought over warm homemade carrot muffins right out of
the oven. Greg decided not to wake me up, so they had cooled before I got to
them, but were still wonderful when washed down with the tangerine citrus
juice I found in the fridge.
RAIDING THE REFRIGERATOR
Some people analyze medicine chests. But I think you
can tell a lot about a place by what is in the refrigerator. And Bear Creek
Retreat passed this test with top marks. It didn’t just have juice and water
and Coke. It had imported beer, good wines, bottles of IBC root beer and
calorie-free fruit flavored sodas. For carbohydrate counters, there was
Doc’s Hard Lemon, a citrusy alcoholic drink I became addicted to while
The freezer held individual size (well, 16 oz. is a
Texas-size individual serving) tubs of Haagen Daas coffee and vanilla
flavored ice cream. And
thick homemade fudge with heating instructions was standing nearby for a
There weren’t just chocolate kisses around in bowls.
There was Ghiradelli Chocolates in four different flavors in a red silk box.
And refills stocked in the kitchen cabinet.
This was junque food with flair and style.
There are fresh flowers everywhere, probably a
reflection on the fact that Caroline’s other career is as a landscape
designer/contractor. She knows how to do things with style, including monogrammed hand
towels, cozy shawls draped over couches, Texas-star tiebacks for the
You could call Caroline a Texas-style Martha Steward.
But then I have no reason to think Caroline has ever done anything illegal.
I only wish Caroline could come to my loft and raise her magic wand or green
thumb and make my place as cozy and comfortable at Bear Creek Retreat.
The interesting thing about this fabulous place is it
is equally good for families or an orgy, depending on what four people you
want to share the bed with.
Kids will also love the playroom under the stairs, and
they are encouraged to write on the walls and leave their hand or foot
print. Who doesn’t love a secret hiding place. The kids can hide in the
playroom. And a celebrity or rock star could easily make Bear Creek Retreat
their personal hiding place, using the two upstairs bedrooms for their
entourage. I can think of a zillion other good reasons to stay there—perhaps
for a honeymoon or anniversary celebration or family reunion. I am counting
the reasons why I want to go back as I write this.
I did not yet tell you about the pond, because I never
got that far. But the friends I invited down, raved about it. And plans call
for individual TeePee tents to be built soon. Imagine a birthday party, or a
Cub Scout retreat, or an Indian Princess meeting. Or even a corporate
getaway. The possibilities are endless as is the view of the surrounding
WHERE IS THIS PLACE?
When I emailed Caroline for directions and asked where
to get the key, she replied, “The doors to the home are unlocked. We do not
lock doors around here. In fact, we're not even sure we could locate a
key. The home does have dead bolts on all the doors if you choose to use
them while you are inside.”
Because one of the wonderful things about this place is
how remotely rustic it seems while only being 10 minutes from I-35, I will
let Caroline give you directions when you book.
You probably won’t ever want to leave the property. But
if you do, here are some things I like to do in Austin
Wildly Austin: Austin's Landmark Art
By Vikki Loving
Here are a few of the stories you'll find in Wildly
Austin: Austin's Landmark Art:
*King-Kong attacks Dreyfus Antiques' Eiffel Tower
*Restaurant County Line on the Hill's two-headed
longhorn runs amuck
*The oldest bug in Austin: the Terminix Bug
* The Longhorn on 15th Street
FAVORITE AUSTIN RESTAURANTS
Moonshine on River
Monica’s 701, 701 Main Street, Georgetown. Only 20
minutes North of Austin and worth the drive. Be sure to get the Monica Salad
and the white chocolate bread pudding